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He's still trying to sift through all this when he opens the door to his bedroom. He's not surprised to hear the shower still running; tar is tough enough to remove from skin, let alone hair. He's gotten it in his beard once or twice, and honestly it's just easier to shave the whole thing off and deal with the indignity of looking like a teenager for a couple weeks. So, she'll definitely need at least two rounds of solvent, that's forty minutes of just sitting and waiting, minimum…plus the time it takes to wash the solvent off, so, say forty-five minutes. And she's cold, and the shower is warm; if she's anything like Megamind, that's another five minutes. Call it ten minutes because she's extra-cold. And he has no idea what else a shower entails for a human, and thinking about Roxanne in the shower is something Megamind generally tries his best to avoid, but…all in all, an hour or so seems like a reasonable enough estimate.

He still stops dead in his tracks, though, because—

Roxanne is singing. The shower is on and. Roxanne. Singing. In his bathroom, singing.

Bathrooms have good acoustics and Roxanne seems to have a decent voice, but it isn't the quality of the song that shocks him. He's mostly startled because it's a song he actually knows, it's—Judas Priest, he thinks, Diamonds and Rust, but—suddenly there are lyrics he doesn't recognize—

"Ten years ago, I bought you some cufflinks…you brought me something; we both know what memories can bring…"

He's tempted to just sit down on the floor in front of the bathroom door and listen, but he's pretty sure that would be unforgivably creepy. He goes and sits down on his bed, instead, and stares toward the door. Which still feels creepy, but. Forgivably so.

"Well, you burst on the scene already a legend: the unwashed phenomenon, the original vagabond…you strayed into my arms. And there you stayed, temporarily lost at sea…"

The water cuts off, and so does the singing. For a minute or so, all is silence, and Megamind keeps puzzling. A recording he doesn't know? A live show somewhere? Now you're telling me you're not nostalgicwell then give me another word for it, you who are so good with words and at keeping things vague

He hasn't listened to Sin after Sin in years, maybe he'll have to…then the bathroom door opens, and he looks quickly down at the floor.

"Oh," Roxanne says, sounding startled. "Oh, you're back."

Megamind looks up. 'Cause I need some of that vagueness now; it's all come back too clearly—yes, I love you dearly

"I just, I poked my head out earlier but you were gone, I thought…never mind." She clears her throat, color rising under her freckles, embarrassed. "I, um, I hung my clothes over the shower door," she tells him, slowly swinging her arms back and forth. "I hope that was okay."

He glances at her swinging hands, then snorts.

Roxanne laughs quietly, too, looking down at herself. "Yeah, I don't think Minion's clothes fit me very well." There's a good four inches of fabric hanging over her hands.

Megamind shakes his head, lips twitching in spite of himself, in spite of the weirdness of having Roxanne Ritchi actually in his actual bedroom, wearing Minion's old clothes. "It's better than the nightshirts he wears these days," he tells her. "You could probably go camping in one."

She laughs again, fumbling with one of the sleeves. But it's hard to roll up a sleeve one-handed, and a second later she winces, and—right, that's right: her wrists. The fabric is probably rubbing, or maybe turning her hands that way is uncomfortable. Megamind frowns, then stands and sweeps over and past her, back into his shower-humid bathroom. "Here," he says over his shoulder. "Um. Come, come here?"

She does so, one sleeve partly rolled up, the other flopping around uselessly. Megamind faces her, a roll of gauze in one hand and a bottle of providone-iodine solution in the other. "Um," he says again, feeling very flushed and sort of temporarily lost at sea, himself. "Your, your wrists are…it's a little late for full treatment. Debridement and everything. But you've been in water all day, so that's probably a moot point." He sets the supplies on his sink, then starts washing his hands. Roxanne leans against his doorframe, just watching quietly. "I, I think you should be okay with just, with just some antiseptic and antibiotic ointment? And a bandage. Should be enough. You won't get infected. Here," he says, shutting off the tap and turning to reach for her. "Let me?"

She steps forward, holds her hands out to him, and watches his hands move as he carefully rolls her sleeves up with shaking fingers. He keeps his eyes away from the oversized nightshirt's neckline, keeps his attention on her hands and wrists. It isn't hard. This is the first time he's really looked at the wounds, not just noticed them, and his eyebrows net together, troubled. The cuts aren't deep, but they are ugly—no longer bleeding, and not even scabbed over thanks to her day in the lake, but weeping and raw-looking and angry red around the edges. She must have really been struggling, earlier. There are a few places cut deep enough that he thinks they might scar, an idea that makes his heart squeeze uncomfortably.

He steps away, guides her to the sink. "Hold your hands over…yes. Okay. This is probably going to sting," he warns.

"It's okay," she says, but she still hisses when the iodine splashes into her cuts.

"Sorry," Megamind says, quiet, and guides her to turn her hands so he can pour the antiseptic liberally over the circumference of her wrists. That done, he reaches for the neosporin he keeps next to his toothpaste (an arrangement which has definitely never backfired hilariously). "Um—do you want—?"

"You do it."

So he swallows, and gently dabs the ointment over her sterilized cuts before finally picking up the gauze and bandaging her hands while she watches in silence. She's usually so, so full of questions and spitfire commentary. And she was singing just a minute ago. Is she okay? Is she just tired?

Roxanne steps—forward—brings her bandaged hands up—

"Megamind," she says in a low voice, "um. Fair, fair warning? I'm about to freak out, can…can I touch you?"

"Ah?" Well, that answers the is she okay question, sort of. He blinks, taken aback. "Ah. If—you want to?"

Her eyes fill with tears and she nods hard and takes another step forward. Megamind is already backed against the sink, but—okay, this is okay, Roxanne has her arms around him again—around his ribs, this time, but his gills are flat, so it's okay—and her face is shoved into his bony shoulder between his neck and the collar of his pajamas and she's—crying? Again? She cried earlier today, too, but then after the thing with the bag she mostly just stared at him, and—

He puts his arms around her and she moves even closer, so he just gives up on trying to take cues and holds her as tightly as he can. Which is pretty tightly, honestly; he's no Metro Man but he's hardly a delicate flower, either. Megamind can be reasonably immovable when he wants to be.

Roxanne stands there in his bathroom, in her bare feet and borrowed nightgown, pressing herself against him like she can somehow phase into his body by sheer force of will. She's fairly clutching him against her and just—shaking silently, her whole body trembling with it, while Megamind stands like a stiff, uncertain stick, holding her.

Eventually he can't take it anymore. "Um," he says, feeling intensely awkward, "maybe…would it maybe be better if we sat down? On, on a couch? I have a couch, would…would that be better?" Maybe the walk will be good for her, he thinks. Getting up and moving rarely makes him feel better, but it does help as a distraction long enough to break him out of his spirals, sometimes. Of course, walking to the couch will mean showing her more of the Lair, but…well, she's seen one of the entrances and she's seen his bedroom and she knows how to navigate a little—thanks, Minion—and she's seen a good deal of his inventions already, so. It's fine. It's probably fine. "Miss Ritchi," he prompts, because she hasn't reacted in the slightest.

And she does nod against his neck, then, and pull away a little.

God, maybe Minion was right, maybe Megamind really did screw up in a major way, because she's—crying rather hard, actually.

"Oh," Megamind says, taken aback. "Oh, um…hang on." He darts away, retrieves the tissues he keeps on his nightstand. A thought occurs, and he also stops by his bureau to grab a pair of clean fluffy socks for her.

"Here," he says shortly, handing her the socks. "You, you'll want these, the Lair is…the floor is cold. Or—wait a moment—but do put those on—" Another thought: he has a second pair of slippers in his wardrobe. Always useful to keep an old pair on-hand in case of acid spills. He slips the old pair on, hurries back to the bathroom. "Here," he says again, setting the newer slippers on the floor for Roxanne to slide her fluffy-sock feet into. Fluffy socks are warm, but the damp chill of the Lair's cement floors tends to work its way through socks alone.

The slippers may have been a mistake; Roxanne looks down at them, looks up at Megamind, looks surprised, then seems to cry even harder. But. Oh well.

"Okay, um…here, just…" He's not feeling much more articulate than she is, to be honest. He picks up the tissues and offers her his arm, and she seizes his elbow with both hands.

Okay. Okay. He can do this.

Megamind is no stranger to panic, himself, but his preferred method of calming down is to curl up on the bottom of the saltwater pool until he feels better. That obviously won't work in Roxanne's case, so he leads her down the hall away from the kitchen, heading for the open, airy space he uses for storage and planning and prototyping. There's a couch there, a massive black leather sectional. It faces the wall where Minion keeps his herb garden on full-spectrum lit shelving. The lighting in that corner is good and the plants are sort of soothing to look at, and the couch itself is exceptionally comfortable.

Roxanne says nothing, just allows him to lead her across the big room, past his idea cloud and through his prototype staging area, down past several rows of shelves to the brightly-lit herb corner. This is where Megamind sleeps when he's having trouble with being in a bed, or if all he wants is some shut-eye in the middle of a particularly interesting project.

"Here," he says for what feels like the tenth time today. He settles Roxanne in a corner of the couch so she can curl against the armrest if she wants to, already pulling the blanket Minion made him off the back of the couch for her as she lets go of his arm. He puts the tissues on the armrest.

Minion had taken up a brief flirtation with quilting in their teenage years, in those early days when Megamind went silent and his hands went still, and the blanket is a patchwork of dark cool tones reminiscent of the night sky, with stars picked out here and there in metallic silver thread. It's not quite big enough for a bed, but it's perfect to curl up under and it is a very calming blanket, in Megamind's experience. He bundles it over Roxanne's lap while she blows her nose.

And then she reaches up for him, and he steps back, uncertain, gazing down at her. He was right: the walk does seem to have done some good, because she isn't crying quite as hard and her breathing is much easier, but her eyes are still huge and full of tears. "Um…?"

"Sit with me," she chokes out, barely managing to turn it into a question. "Please?"

This feels vaguely exploitative of him, but she did ask, so he sits down next to her and lets her turn toward him, allows her to crawl back into his arms. He pulls the quilt up over her back, instead of putting it over her lap, and wraps his arms around the outside to keep it in place and maybe give her a barrier in case she wants one. She doesn't seem to want one, but he'd much rather err on the side of not overstepping some unknown boundary.

"Miss Ritchi," he says again, when she doesn't speak again, just clings. He pitches his voice low, does his best to sound steady and assuring. "You know you're…safe, here. After a fashion."

"I know," she says, "I know. I'm sorry about this, I—I do know you won't let anything bad happen."

He blinks over her shoulder, startled. Oh, he thinks. Oh, she trusts him, that's…unexpected.

She swallows hard. "It's just, I just—Megamind, I—I thought you were dead. I was going to die, I thought they were going to shoot me and I thought—"

He dares to sweep a hand down her spine and up again, smoothing the quilt against her. "No," he says, still keeping his voice humming as low as he can, "no, they were never going to shoot you, Miss Ritchi."

"They were," she insists. "They—Megamind, they had guns—"

"Ineffectual guns," he tells her. "Nonfunctional guns. Very much jammed, all of them, I promise." He rubs her back again, then hooks his hand up over her shoulder and squeezes gently. "Miss Ritchi, can you breathe for me?"

"Jammed," she whispers, her arms around him tightening.

"Yes, extremely jammed," he says, trying to think of what Minion says when Megamind loses control like this. "I'll—I'll explain, if you want me to, later, but—Miss Ritchi, please, I need you to breathe slowly, please. Like in the lake?"

She gulps again. "The lake," she echoes, in an odd tone he doesn't recognize, and her trembling shoulders curl inward. Then she says, unprompted, "Can I—would you let me—"

He relaxes his grip on her but doesn't move. "Put me where you need me," he tells her. She nudges him to lean back against the couch.

And then she shifts her weight, rises and moves forward and turns so she's—oh. Um. In his lap, straddling his legs, shoving her arms down around between the couch and the small of his back, that's—new. And. Okay! That's okay. He pulls the quilt back up around her, squeezes her through it, and Roxanne puts her chin on his shoulder and rests the side of her head against his jaw. Her damp hair tickles his ear.

"Sorry," she whispers against the back of the couch. "Sorry, is—is this okay—"

Megamind clears his throat. "This is. Fine! I'm fine."

"Don't sound fine," she mumbles.

He clenches his teeth for a moment and shuts his eyes. He'd rather not point this out, would much rather continue to have her close to him, but—that's terribly unfair of him to want, especially right now. She's crying. "I do worry I'm taking advantage of your emotional distress."

There's a pause, and then she pulls away a little so she can look searchingly at his face. "What?"

He swallows hard. "You are clearly in some kind of emotional distress," he says carefully, "and—seeking comfort physically, and I'm—here, but—oh!" he realizes suddenly. "Minion! Minion would be infinitely better at this. I can call Minion, if you like?" Yes! That will be better. Minion isn't in love with Roxanne; Minion won't have the conflict of interest Megamind does complicating things. Minion will be perfect. And if all he's doing is heating up soup, well, Megamind can do that easily enough. He knows how to stir a pot on the stove.

(Speaking of Minion: where is he? It's been well over an hour and there's been no word. Has he been in the kitchen this whole time? Megamind isn't worried about Price coming after him—humans underestimate Minion, they always do; they think all his strength is in the gorilla suit and completely ignore the fact that the gorilla suit is completely useless without a pilot—but it does seem strange not to have heard from him yet.)

(Minion, as it happens, knows exactly what he saw on the dock and he knows the more time he gives the two bipeds to figure things out, the higher the likelihood of a favorable romantic outcome. So he is not heating up soup. He is making french onion soup from scratch.)

(It's a lot of onions.)

"No," Roxanne says, and shakes her head. "No, I don't—I don't want Minion. I want you." She leans forward and pulls herself to Megamind again before he can react to that. He recognizes somewhat dizzily that she doesn't clutch him quite as hard as before, which…maybe that's a good sign?

Now thoroughly confused, he returns to rubbing her back. His hands aren't nearly as large and comforting as Minion's would be, so he uses both of them and hopes that's enough. Brain six times the mass and sixteen times the processing capacity of an average human's and he has no idea what he's doing here, but he's damn well going to try anyway. Story of his life, really.

And…okay, so maybe the whole alien thing doesn't freak her out? At all? He was about as flagrantly other as it was possible for him to be in front of her, earlier, and she…doesn't seem to care in the slightest. She's in his lap, for god's sake, and he knows she saw his gills before.

Right on schedule, she murmurs, "…Can't believe you can breathe underwater."

He hesitates. "I…would appreciate if you kept that to yourself," he says slowly. "It isn't common knowledge. I'd like to keep it that way."

"Of course," she agrees immediately, not moving. "No, of course I won't tell anyone. But—I'm just. Surprised." She shrugs a little. "I assumed you were a mammal."

He has to consciously keep himself from stiffening and trying to change the subject. She sounds calmer, she sounds like this is helping; it's not her fault if the topic makes him jumpy. "I'm…similar to certain mammals," he allows, after a pause. "Monotremes, specifically. My, ah…my more fish-like traits were added to my species' genome artificially. A second respiratory system, some circulatory and musculoskeletal modifications."

She sniffs. "The holes in your shoulders," she says. "What are…?"

"Water intakes," he says shortly. Then, when she makes an interested noise, he steels himself and explains, "They allow enough water to reach my gills to meet my oxygen requirements. My neck is too thin. And I don't have an operculum like most of your fish do, so my spiracles keep the flow going when I'm at rest. Otherwise, I'd have to keep moving forward in order to keep breathing."

"Spiracles, huh," she murmurs, and briefly leans back to look at him. "Sounds like miracles." He blinks at her, then risks a hesitant smile, and—she does smile back, a little! But it's a sad sort of smile, a pained sort of smile, and her eyes are still over-bright and shining. "Sort of feels like I saw one of those today," she whispers, and Megamind stops rubbing his hands up and down her back and just—just pulls her against him, squeezes her in. He absolutely cannot handle her looking at him and crying, and, and maybe this will be better? Maybe this will be better. And her arms around him do tighten in return.

Maybe someday he'll figure out what to do to make this okay. It's just…he still isn't entirely certain what was so wrong.

Eventually, she sighs, and when she speaks, her voice is thick but steady. "I ripped a man's ear off today," she says softly.

He feels his eyebrows go up. "Did you really?"

She nods. "Mm-hm. I did. Oh, and I bit the everloving shit out of Price's hand."

Megamind snorts in spite of himself. "Good for you," he tells her. "Serves him right for putting his hand near your mouth. Did you get a parting shot in?"

"Not with Price, but, um, with ear-guy? Kind of? 'Something to remember me by,'" she tells him, and he grins.

"Well done."

"Not very witty," she admits, withdrawing a little so she can grab a tissue.

"Doesn't always have to be." He absently pats her back a few times as she blows her nose again. "It's a solid one-liner, especially for something brutal like that. He'll definitely remember you, Miss Ritchi, I'm impressed."

She nods a little, then takes a huge, shuddery sigh. "…God. You…you carried me all the way home on your back. That was amazing."

Megamind blinks. That's an…odd change of subject. "I—Metro Man carries you around all the time—"

"Yeah, by selectively manipulating gravitational or magnetic fields." She rolls her eyes. "It doesn't cost him anything."

His world skews just a bit to the left. "I didn't tell you that."

"You didn't have to." She sniffs, and then she curls into him again, heaving another shuddering sigh. "That 'super strength' of his is clearly biological, and it defies the laws of physics as we understand them. So. Has to be one of the two." He feels her swallow, and then her face moves against his shoulder and he thinks she might be grinning. "Also, I asked if that's what it was, and he said yes."

Megamind laughs. "You are brilliant, you do know that," he tells her. "I'm…glad you're feeling better. Are you? Feeling better? You are safe," he adds, when she seems to hesitate. "Price isn't going to get his hands on you again, I can promise you that much."

"I know," she murmurs. "I believe you. But, to be honest…I wasn't that worried about him until the end, there. I had other concerns."

He wrinkles his face. "Other concerns," he echoes. "Other concerns? For all you knew, you could have been killed, and you had other concerns?"

"I had to watch you die today," she whispers, and slowly works her arms even tighter around him again. "And, and I know it was all part of your plan, but—I didn't know that at the time. So. I watched you die, today."

"I'm sorry," he says carefully, and admits, "I probably could have done something else, but I didn't expect it to affect you like this. Or. At all. So."

She jerks back, away from him, and he freezes. She's staring at him like he's sprouted a second head. "Not affect me?" she says sharply. "Megamind! You were dead!"

"I—I know," he replies, startled. "But—I mean, no, it's never fun watching somebody die, but—"

"It wasn't somebody," she snaps, warm in his arms and heavy in his lap and glaring at him with tears drying on her cheeks. "It was you! It was—Megamind, it was you; in what universe would that not affect me?" He opens his mouth, but she cuts him off. "I had to watch you die. Painfully. Horrifically. In front of me." Her face almost crumples at that, but then she wrenches it into a scowl and continues, "And honestly, seriously, screw you for thinking I wouldn't care about—look, I don't know if that dickbag was right or totally off-base with the whole 'woman you love thing,' but you have to know I care about you. You have to know that, at least."

Megamind stares at her, completely blindsided. "No?" he says, amazed. "No, I…no, Miss Ritchi, I did not know that! Why would—wait, is—is that why you're so upset?"

Her jaw drops open. "Yes! Megamind, oh my god! Yes, that's why I'm…

"How would you feel?" she demands suddenly. "How would you feel, if we switched places? How would you feel if you were tied to a post and had to watch me fucking drown?"

Megamind's gaze skitters away from her face as his heart shudders in his chest. "That's. That's not a valid comparison."

Her eyes narrow. "Isn't it?" she challenges. "Isn't it? You care about me, I know you do. You really think I don't care about you?" When he doesn't look at her, she sighs and squeezes him a little. "You know I care about Minion, right?"

He scoffs, rolls his eyes, waves a hand. "Yes, but that's…Minion. Minion is intensely likable."

"So are you," she insists, and then, when he yanks his head back on his long neck and stares at her, she exclaims, "Megamind, you—are you serious? God, you're serious!" She lets go of him, rocks back in his lap, shoves a hand through her short hair, rests the other in the middle of his chest. "You're smart and funny and respectful and, and yes you kidnap me all the time but you're always weirdly considerate about it?" She releases a sort of wild laugh and says, "I'm—I'm sitting in your lap and you're worried you're taking advantage of my emotional distress, you—and the things you—Megamind! The things you build! How am I supposed to not care about all that?" She swallows and looks away. "Not to mention you're…just…absolutely stunningly beautiful. And I just—I mean, I could sit for hours and just watch you; I've never seen anyone move like you do."

He cocks his head and squints at her. Is she…is she trying to be funny? She doesn't sound like she's trying to be funny, but she also doesn't sound like she's mocking him, so—

"Miss Ritchi," he says quietly, wearing his eyebrows low over his eyes and holding himself stiffly away from her as best he can with her sitting as close as she is, "I want to be very clear. Are you saying you find me physically attractive?"

She stares at him like he's lost his marbles, which doesn't do much for his state of mind, but then she says, "Megamind, listen to me. Listen very carefully," and she lifts her hands and grips the sides of his head and stares into his eyes. He freezes. "You have cheekbones that could cut glass."

He makes a soft, bewildered noise, then gulps and says faintly, "My cheekbones?"

"Yes, Megamind," she says, holding his gaze. "Yes, your cheekbones." She blinks and raises her eyebrows but doesn't look away. She does move her hands, though; she trails them down over his skin so she can rub her thumbs over the subject of her statement. "They are so exceptionally perfect I don't know what to do sometimes. And so is your jawline. And so is this," and strokes her bandaged palms up over the crown of his skull, "and this," running her fingertips down the sides of his neck to rest her hands on his shoulders, still without breaking eye contact. "And all the rest of you, as well. On top of everything else—scintillatingly intelligent and riotously funny and everything else—you are breathtakingly, heart-stoppingly, drop-dead gorgeous, do you understand me?" She pauses for a second, but all he can do is stare at her. "Megamind, I have agreed with you one hundred percent on the 'incredibly handsome' thing for fucking years; were you completely unaware of that fact this whole time?"

He tries for words but he's too all-over tingly and his voice won't cooperate, so he just nods, instead. Roxanne stares at him for another couple of seconds, then closes her eyes in what looks like total incredulity and tips her head forward to rest against his.

Then she says, "Okay. Look. Can I just—look, was he wrong? Price. Was he wrong?"

Megamind gulps and gathers himself. The touching foreheads thing is throwing him for a massive loop, plus also: what? She's thought what? For how long? "About…?"

She doesn't open her eyes. "About your…sentiment for me."

He feels the blood drain out of his face, feels the old chill take hold in the middle of his chest. He is. So far out of his depth right now, but she's still sitting in his lap—she likes the things he builds, she called him beautiful—so—

"N…no? Not…as such, no."

"Not as such?" she says, still with her eyes closed, still touching foreheads. "Or no? It's a fine line, but they're different answers and you know it."

He pulls away a little and scans her face as quickly as he can, trying to read her. She looks tired. Resigned. But not upset with him, not antagonistic, not angry, so—he swallows hard and lifts a trembling hand to sweep her bangs to the side. He's out of his depth, yes, he's in too deep, but—if he dives, if he just—dives deeper still, if he swims down and owns it—he can breathe underwater, he can breathe—

"No," he whispers, heart fluttering. "No, Miss…no, Roxanne, he wasn't wrong."

Something breaks in her expression and she—she lifts her head to look at him, lifts a hand to his chin, lifts his face up to hers and—

Oh. This. This is a kiss. She's kissing him. Her mouth, she—puts her hands on his skin and her lips on his face and—

She's so warm.

She pulls back after a moment or so and sends him a tremulous smile. "Oh, good," she whispers, her blue eyes searching his face. "I love you, too. And it sounds like the worst kind of cliché," she continues, even though he can barely hear her over the buzzing that's suddenly filled his entire brain, "but I didn't even really realize it until I thought I was losing you. Megamind," she says again, "I love you, and I had to watch you die today, and—thank you for letting me hold onto you this whole time, by the way; I know you're tired and you're probably about done with being touched, but…"

She trails off, watching him hopefully. His hands have gone limp on her back and his whole face is slack with shock, but…he is looking at her, he just looks…stunned, almost dismayed. And maybe with someone else she'd take the lack of response as a bad sign, but this is Megamind. She knows him. Not as well as she could, certainly not as well as she hopes to, but she already knows he doesn't always react well to good things. One year, she gave him a Christmas card and he angrily accused her of laughing at him, and then the next year when she gave him a Hanukkah card—because her first assumption was she'd just assumed wrong—he did the same thing. Holiday cards to declarations of love is a big leap, but there have been other indications over the years. This reaction or lack thereof is not totally unexpected.

She settles back into his lap and runs her thumbnail down his goatee to see if he jerks away, but he doesn't resist in the slightest, so she tugs him forward as she moves in for another kiss, and he just goes with it. He lets her turn his head, lets her press her lips to his, and after a few startled seconds, he finally shivers to life under her. He presses into her touch as his hands clench on her back and he kisses her, too, and then—his arms go tight and he arches forward into her—makes a gently strangled choking noise when she brushes an encouraging thumb over his shoulder. She belatedly remembers the openings there. Oops.

She pulls back a little and he opens his eyes and blinks up at her, flabbergasted. "Oh," he says, sounding shocked. And then suddenly his expression shifts and he looks completely aghast. "Oh, oh no; then it is a valid comparison—oh, Roxanne, I am so sorry—"

He lunges forward and drags her into the most crushing hug she's ever had, one arm around the middle of her back like a steel bar and the other up her spine so he can curl his long fingers over the top of her head and hold her against him. It's tight and hard, almost bruising, and it's exactly perfectly what she's wanted since she saw him cut his way out of that fucking body bag earlier. She wraps her fingers into the ridiculous fabric of his hazmat pajamas and shoves her face back down into his shoulder and breathes him in.

"I'm okay," he tells her, his mouth in her hair, "I'm okay. I really am, I'm here."

He's here. He's alive, and he's here, and he loves her.

"Can you," she mumbles, "there was—a noise you made earlier, like a—hum? Like a—" She closes her mouth and tries for an approximation of the whickering thrum he'd made on the bottom of the lake. She fails completely, but she feels Megamind go still. "I don't know what it means," she says, "but I—I liked it, could you—?"

The acoustics are different in open air, but when she bends her head to press her ear to his shoulder, it's similar enough to be comforting. "That's nice," she whispers. "What is it?"

The hum stops. "Um," he says, his air-voice strangely high and wild, "sort of—affection-comfort-sorrow? So, ah—it's—fitting." She pulls away a little, finds him staring down at her, his green eyes bright and as big as plates. "You're…really okay with…with the whole fish-alien thing?"

She feels her eyebrows twitch upward, and then she snorts. "Fish," she scoffs, her heart in her mouth, "what, just because you have gills? Please. You're a platypus alien at best."

"A platypus with gills," he insists, still staring into her face.

"Okay," she says agreeably, "a platypus with gills." She is sitting in his lap because he let her; she is sitting in his Lair because he brought her home. "Megamind," she says, ducking forward for a third quick kiss, "you're not human. I know this."

"I—well, of course you know, but—"

"I also know you're impossibly attractive and I love looking at you," she continues, ignoring this, "and I know you're brilliantly intelligent and I love talking to you. And I know you're you and I know I'm in love with you, and if I ever have to watch you die again, I'm pretty sure my heart will just stop beating right then and there." She swallows. "You being a platypus with gills has no impact on any of that."

His arms go tight again as he bundles her in, his eyes huge.

And then he goes further. He shifts forward under her, then turns his long body sideways and eases her down onto the couch and all but lies down on top of her, pressing his forehead against hers without ever once letting go of her, and—okay, this certainly wasn't something she was expecting, but hell yes. The weight of his body on top of hers is so, so comforting, and the weight of his skull pressing her head down into the cushion is reassuring in a way she isn't sure she can fully articulate.

She winds her arms up around his thin back, clenches her fists against him, and does her best to hold him just as tightly as he's holding her. "So, please never do that to me again." She shakes her head a little, as best she can under the circumstances. "Please, Megamind, I will not be able to handle it."

"I know," he tells her, and the hand on her head moves, twists into her damp hair, and oh, that's nice. That's excellent. "I know, I'm so sorry. I—I didn't realize. You—really? You—"

She swallows. She reaches up again and strokes her fingers over the curve of his skull, hooks her other hand over the jut of his shoulder, his skin cooler than hers but still warm and alive under her bandaged hands. "I do, I love you," she whispers. "But, well. To be fair. I didn't realize either."

He picks his head up to look at her. Then his lips tug into a wry smile and he leans down and kisses her, brushing his fingertips over the side of her face and along her jaw, down around the shell of her ear. She tips up and licks along the seam of his lips until they part for her, until he dips his tongue into her mouth. He tastes like water, like the lake; he tastes like green and growing things. Roxanne runs a hand down the back of his neck and as far down the length of his spine as she can reach, smiles a little when he hums into her, and this time, when he breaks away, his green eyes are dancing as as he gazes at her and there's a high flush of pink on his cheeks, all the way up to the tips of his ears.

"I love you, too," he tells her. The pink creeps up his high forehead and down his neck, and she smiles as she slides a hand around to cup his neck again and pull him down.


In the kitchen, Minion looks away from his onions, glancing at the video feed from the brainbot stationed high in the rafters above the herb corner. "Called it," he says to himself, pleased. And then he shuts off the feed and dismisses the brainbot, which flits away and broadcasts his directive to the rest of the host: avoid the herb corner until dinner at the earliest.